South East Wales

Cardiff GP surgery posters address radicalisation fears

computer Image copyright PA
Image caption Advice is already given to pupils to help prevent them becoming radicalised online

Posters will be displayed in GP surgeries around Cardiff to highlight an NSPCC helpline for parents concerned about their children being radicalised.

The posters in Arabic, Urdu, Bengali and Somali will appear in 32 practices in the city after the charity started receiving calls from worried adults.

NSPCC's ChildLine volunteers in Wales held 60 counselling sessions related to fears of terrorism between November 2015 and July this year.

The new helpline will provide advice.

Across the UK, the posters will appear in 1,000 surgeries and aim to reach six million people a month.

Image copyright NSPCC
Image caption The posters are written in a number of languages

In Wales, the posters which will only be displayed in Cardiff, will also be written in Welsh and will appear in waiting rooms to let people know about the service - set up after a spate of terrorist attacks and the growing problem of extremists targeting children.

NSPCC counsellors have been trained to spot the warning signs of radicalisation so they can advise adults who are worried about a child being groomed.

It comes after volunteers for Welsh Childline, the NSPCC's counselling service for children, said it had dealt with a number of calls and online enquiries from children who had been bullied as a result of terrorist activity elsewhere.

Many said they felt judged on how they looked and were discriminated against because of the faith they followed. Some also said they felt "depressed" and "isolated" as a result of the bullying.

Image copyright Thinkstock

Signs which hint at a child being radicalised include:

  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Talking as if from a scripted speech
  • Increased levels of anger
  • Becoming disrespectful and asking inappropriate questions

Source: NSPCC

Des Mannion, head of NSPCC Wales, said parents would be given advice on how to cope with "this fresh danger to young people".

"We have seen a wave of terrorist attacks in recent weeks and months and both parents and children tell us how frightened they are by what is happening," he said.

"The number of calls received by ChildLine only adds to the feelings of fear and sadness that these evil attacks have prompted all over the world.

"It is vital that we are able to provide parents with non-judgemental advice on issues ranging from the wider terrorist threat to the dangers of radicalisation."

In January, schools in Wales were urged to look out for signs of pupils being radicalised by extremist groups in updated guidance released by the Welsh Government.

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